Toulouse - the best place to be a student in France

The Local France
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Toulouse - the best place to be a student in France
Nothing to lose by studying in Toulouse. Photo: AFP

The annual rankings for the best student cities in France is out and the top dog is definitely not Paris, which comes in at a very unimpressive 13th place. Here's a countdown and a look at why Toulouse comes out on top.


The rankings have been put together by France's L'Etudiant magazine and reveal that if you want to find the best place in the country to study, then look outside Paris.

5 - Rennes:

The Breton capital with its rich history stretching back over two millennia, its atmospheric medieval cobbled streets, and its lively cultural scene make it a hit with students. Although its public transport system was deemed a tad inefficient.

4 - Bordeaux:

The range of top quality university courses on offer and the host of cultural activities available draws students to the world wine capital. On the downside, students complained that it needed to do better on sports facilities. 

3 - Montpellier: 

This sunny city, with is countless bars, restaurants, and clubs topped the student polls for the best city for an evening out. The beaches of the Mediterranean that lie a short bus ride away were no doubt also a big pull.

2 - Grenoble:

The Alpine city, which in 2013 was designated by Forbes magazine as the fifth most inventive city in the world, scored highly with students because of its cosmopolitan atmosphere, its efficient transport system, and its top-notch sports facilities.

The writer of the blog Grenoble Life explains exactly what makes the city so great for students, especially those from abroad.

"Grenoble is the perfect size city for study abroad. It is large enough to offer variety, but yet it is small enough so that it is not overwhelming. The centre ville (city center) is where most of the stores, restaurants, cafés, pubs, and nightlife are."

1. Toulouse:

Known to locals as La Ville Rose (the Pink City) after the pink stone used in many of its buildings, Toulouse takes the number one spot for the second year in a row. The southwestern city, which hosts 40,000 students, is awash with culture, art, industry and architecture.

Jessica Mackenzie, Manager at the International Student Office of the Toulouse Business School tells The Local why La Ville Rose is thoroughly deserving of the gong.

Why is Toulouse so fab for students?
“It’s easy, it’s fun, and it’s safe.
"Over the past ten years, services in the city have reacted to the growing number of students in the city. 
"The old centre of Toulouse is very small and most of the universities and colleges are situated there. Students can move from academic life to social life by simply stepping out into the streets in the old town which are full of cafés and bars.
"Toulouse is also known as a very safe city. Its geographical position in southwestern France is perfect. We have wonderful weather in both summer and winter.
"Students can get to beaches on the Mediterranean in just an hour using the very efficient public transport.
"And as we’re right by the Pyrenees you can reach 10 ski resorts within an hour and a half. So you’ve got the sun and the heat in the summer and in the winter you can pop over to the ski slopes.
And the Nightlife?
"There are countless cafes, international bars, Irish bars, restaurants serving regional cuisine, and nightclubs. The clubs open at 1am and go in until 6 or 7 in the morning.
"The local industries such as Airbus both recruit and provide internships for students in Toulouse."
So there you have it, you've got nothing to lose by studying in Toulouse.



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